Wot I Think: F1 2012

We tasked Craig Lager with earn pole position on the F1 2012 reviews circuit. After a few laps he’s identified the worse bumps in the road, and is keen to tell you wot he thinks.

Codemasters have straddled the line of “absolutely not a sim but by no means an arcade game either” pretty well over the last couple of years with the F1 license. They’ve never got it perfect though, and the problem of how best to balance approachability while still providing a challenge for dedicated race fans is a difficult one. They want people to be able to get into F1 quickly and easily. For fans of the sport to become fans of the game they need to get used to coaxing the super machines around a track, yet people already versed in racing cars need proper complexity and challenge to keep them interested. The end goal, I think, is to be able to turn the former set of people into the latter, all in one game. Tricky.

This year, along with including all the normal assists and racing line guides, Codemasters have tried to get rookies up to speed as fast as possible by introducing a mandatory Young Driver Test. It’s a selection of tutorials – on track and video – that introduce you to concepts like apexing, DRS (magic boost button), KERS (another magic boost button) and, err, driving in a straight line and braking.

After the hour or so of testing, the bulk of your time will then be in career mode which carries you through 5 seasons of the full race calendar, providing opportunities to move to better teams as you meet your objectives and gain reputation. Because a back of the pack team is never going to actually win a race (if you’ve got the difficulty settings right, anyway) then you’ll be targeted with something like “qualify 16th, finish in 12th” and while it might not sound like you’re aiming for much glory here, it’s a system that really works.

R&D objectives are also given in practice sessions in order to bring mid-season improvements to the car. They’ve been changed slightly from last year in that you have extra criteria to fill instead of just aiming for decent average lap times in a set window. So, something like having to keep the DRS open (go faster but much less rear traction) over 45% of 3 laps, while still maintaining a decent time will reward you with a more efficient DRS in future.

A few changes into how race weekends are structured might irk, however. The most noticeable is the restructure of the “long race weekend”. While in 2011 and in actual F1 there are three practice sessions available, you’re now bafflingly restricted to one, and it’s not clear what this is meant to achieve. To compensate I’ve found myself heading into time trial modes to get my bearing on circuits again, so it doesn’t really affect much, but it’s a strange decision.

Gone too are extended options to configure your race settings. Tyre and fuel simulation are now out of your control – they’re either on or off depending on what length or race you choose. I’m not really sure who these settings will affect – for the most part people who want realism will pick the longer races anyway, but, again, it’s just strange for Codemasters to reduce your options. Why?

Alongside the full career there’s a Season Challenge mode which is a quickfire tour of the highlights of the race calendar: pick a team, do a 1 shot, hot lap qualifying on one of the better tracks, do a short race, then move on. It lasts 10 races and you get offers to move to a better team every few races if you’re completing your objectives.

Then there’s Champions Mode where you have to beat one of the current world champions under a set of conditions, time trials and time attacks with online leaderboards, and then a collection of multiplayer options including co-op championship so you and a friend can take on a whole season as part of the same team. It all culminates in a pretty full package presented with shiny graphics and some excellent sound work (for the most part).

When you get on track, the driving is a little hit and miss – sometimes wandering into disappointing – especially so when you’re pushing the settings to be as authentic as possible. Understeer is a constant problem – the cars feel far too tight at speed with breathing the throttle making too small a difference. Conversely, oversteer barely exists – you can slam the accelerator on without ever feeling like you’ve pushed too much power to the rear as the wheels just refuse to spin. Generally, that back end is staying put unless you’re too aggressive on a kerb, the track’s especially slippery, or if you open the DRS mid corner like a berk. The cars are much more predictable than last year though, and I’d rather it be this way than the random snap-in oversteer that plagued 2011.

Feedback is lacking, unfortunately both through sound and through your wheel of choice. Tyres don’t make a noise when they’re near their limit or when they’re under heavy degradation, leaving you judging both by purely visual clues. It might sound like a minor complaint, but when games do these noises well, they make a big difference. Wheel feedback gets chaotic – on bumpy straights the on-screen wheel is jumping around, but the one in your hands is completely dead. Then, on some long fast curves like in Abu Dhabi, the wheel gets yanked to the side for no particular reason. For the most part, it’s fine if not exceptional, and the fault lies more with the physics not being there to be fed back and wrestled with.

Balance on the cars is never an issue either. You can throw the machines around without any bother – weight distribution just isn’t a factor which is probably why there’s only ever understeer. Brakes do lock up gladly though if you’re a touch too heavy on the pedal, and recovering from that is one of the biggest challenges in the driving model, especially when you introduce one of the new, incredibly annoying features.

Let’s say that you’re heading down the hill at Spa towards Pouhon (it’s a big, fast left turn with a huge run off) and you go in a little too fast. The understeer kicks in and you end up off the track. Now, in any other game you can keep the power down and drag the car back on the track – you lose time because of a bad racing line but not so much because of speed or momentum loss. In F1 2012 though, it starts cutting your engine out until you get back on track, losing your momentum. You’re punished twice by an incredibly artificial rule for no particular reason.

To make matters worse, other gripes have been reported and while I’ve not personally come across them, they’re worth mentioning as I doubt people are lying. There seems to be an issue at the moment with automatic gears causing engines to blow up regularly (!) (and sometimes randomly after using the flashback feature), and there’s also reporting of dodgy net code when you take it online, which is a very serious issue from a game that demands speedy precision. Worse than either of these, complaints carry over from 2011 too: the safety car is rare (but this is probably by design, it’s not exactly fun to be behind), and there’s still no podium to let you bask in your victory. None of this makes much sense, and count heavily against this as an “update” on the previous iteration.

My, I’ve done a lot of complaining. And with good reason. These moans are mostly from stacking it against racing sims, however, and that isn’t what this is trying to achieve. In a way, F1 is providing a racing equivalent of Guitar Hero. If you’re new you can pick away on easy and still feel like a rock/driving star, but as you get better you can nudge the difficulty up and feel a bit more involved, a bit more challenged, and still feel like that star driver. You’re not actually playing something that fully represents that guitar/millions of pounds worth of racing car, but it feels like you’re emulating it to a degree, and that’s all that really matters.

For example, with a G27, load cell pedals, assists off and difficulty set to high; F1 2012 is still very demanding. Punishing, even. In spending a day pushing myself against the lap times it requires, I’ve somehow damaged my right wrist, thumb, and my left ankle. In trying to edge every tenth of a second out of every lap, I’ve pushed my flesh bag past its physical limits and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing it.

But then with all the assists on and a 360 pad attached, the game cools its engine enough that a reluctant, zero-interest chum under “see if you can do this for science” instructions can put in a decent enough lap around Monza. So, if you enjoy F1 as a sport but you don’t really have all the experience with racing cars at your computer, you’ll be able to race alongside your heroes in some capacity without much bother.

And, if anything, how 2012 represents the other drivers on track is the biggest jump forward Codemasters have made here. They’re competitive but they won’t ram you off the track. They’re good, but they will spin off and mess up corners. They’re by no means elite or perfect but they’re a good balance on the higher AI settings, especially compared to what racing AI is usually like. Plus, the changes in F1 rules over the last couple of years with KERS and DRS makes cat and mouse chases with them exciting and dramatic.

A few other changes have made the PC version slightly nicer this year too. The tiresome “trailer/caravan” menu system is out and replaced with normal menus (if still optimized for consoles). GFWL you’ll be glad to know has been switched for Steamworks, and in general it’s a lot less buggy with no huge framerate drops or random crashes like the last couple of years.

For a mass-appeal racing game, F1 2012 is a success. If you’re looking for something absolutely authentic then this definitely isn’t it, but if you can put that aside and want a genuinely enjoyable racer that will still offer a lot of challenge and demand good racecraft, there is a lot to love here. If anything, Codemasters has seen their most serious faced racing line have an outstanding iteration this year. Some problems are fixed, some features refined, and if you can shallow the simplistic physics, the handling is challenging and a pleasure to use.

The fact that, today, I’m barely capable of continuing to race yet have every intention of doing so is a testament to how well the challenge and drama of the game pay off. It’s not unproblematic. I still couldn’t say that it’s an essential buy if you already have and enjoy 2011, but for me (as an F1 fan), the improvements and additions culminate in something that’s worth your £20, and if you’ve not had time with a Codemasters F1 game yet, this is a healthy time to introduce yourself.


  1. trjp says:

    The thing which killed F1 2010 for me (and thus I’ve not bothered with the series since) was it’s stupid approach to ‘corner cutting’.

    If you setup your car and difficulties to a sensible level, there were only 2 options for a fast lap

    1 – a miracle
    2 – a miracle

    Otherwise you’d either

    a – run over just a TINY bit too much kerb (nowhere near the grass – definately still kerb) and get a corner cutting/laptime disqualified warning
    b – drive around like your granny and lose

    Corner cutting in online racing IS a problem, but it’s soluble by putting solid walls in the way of obvious shortcuts (or breaking people’s cars in more subtle ways) but enforcing it (draconianly) in a single player experience is bloody stupid.

    I’m driving as fast as I can, I’m maybe a BIT deep in the corner or a BIT wide on the exit but I’m still flying along fine – except your game just told me I’d “cheated” in some way – gone beyond some invisible line.

    Would you put that ‘”invisible” line into – say – a platformer or a shooter??

    “You were shot by an invisible opponent and died – try again”

    “You fell into an invisible hole – ahahahaha – try again”

    No? Well why the fuck is it in here then?

    • Faldrath says:

      Corner cutting is much less of an issue in the more recent games, though, but yes, in 2010 it was a chore. It still happens, but if you have “reduced” penalties enabled, it takes a really blatant cut to get a penalty.

      • pepper says:

        How odd, I thought it was a problem solved, in the Race series you’re round is disqualified after leaving the track with more then 2 wheels in obvious spots, or when passing through a certain invisible barrier, usually in places that allow a faster lap time by leaving the track.

        • Bonedwarf says:

          iRacing deals with this quite nicely. You get black flagged for more obvious cutting and have to slow down, but if you cut across kerbs and stuff, it WILL mess your car up. In the Grand Am Riley especially. (I know that car best.) Your steering will get shot to hell if you take too much kerb.

          • kanavbs45 says:

            Not at all. Before I had a G25, I was using a non-FF Microsoft Sidewinder, and I absolutely could not do anything in sims made by anyone but Papyrus because they were the only people who nailed the subtle changes in tire scrub at the limit, which were impossible to feel without FF. Of course, now it doesn’t really matter because most racing games are so forgiving you just understeer past the limit and move on.

          • pepper says:

            It really depends on the track, on Brands Hatch for example you have a few corners where you can take quite a bit of kerb and sometimes even more, and some are so bloody slippy that you go off the track when you venture on the kerbs.

  2. DandyShlongLegs says:

    Lots of great points here. The under-steer seems more pronounced on the weaker cars which makes progressing through the career a real chore. However, when I hop in the Red Bull, it seems almost as snappy as 2011. I’ve not yet decided if the handling is a step back or something I just need to get used to.

    • MrCraigL says:

      I’ve found myself getting used to it. The key is in easing off the brake into the corner – it’s a lot easier to do on a set of pedals.

      • trjp says:

        Ironically, a real F1 driver doesn’t ‘ease-off’ anything – have you seen the graphs of their control inputs.

        It looks like an analysis of a whack-a-mole machine :)

        • Faldrath says:

          They do ease off in that they brake hard at first, but then ease off before turning (and I’ve read interviews of F1 drivers who say exactly this), which is a bit unintuitive for most, and I think the main source of complaints about F1 2012’s understeering – in previous games it was far too easy to just slam on the brakes just before a corner and make corrections if needed.

          Now, if you don’t brake earlier, you won’t be able to correct anything. And “braking earlier” usually means braking even before the racing line tells you to, I’ve noticed. So I think most people who use the racing line are complaining even more about understeer.

          • MrCraigL says:

            This is pretty much spot on. It’s discussed in the ever popular “Going Faster” book by the Skip Barber guys too – if you want to go fast you need to trail brake into a corner no matter what you’re driving, F1 just does it really quickly.

          • ItalianPodge says:

            iRacing Skip Barber series teaches you all about this, you brake harder when going faster and then ease off the brake at lower speeds. The brakes are more efficient at high speed and less likely to lock, don’t accelerate too early either as after braking you have the car balanced forward allowing it to turn faster. Recently at Monza, sitting in the first corner stand, I was amazed at how long it took the drivers to get on the gas.

  3. Mud says:

    The car handling is awkward, but the most annoying bug is the save game bug.
    Stopped playing when this occured 2 days ago as it has no use to start a career ……. again.

  4. Moni says:

    When will someone develop the technology to make first-person hands not look weird?

  5. jha4ceb says:

    How is the AI simulation? In F1 2010 it was abysmal — other cars wouldn’t take their mandatory pitstops, and lap times were plucked out of the sky. Has this all been fixed now?

    Am put off by several of the points you mention here — for instance, the removal of choice re tyre and fuel simulation, and the removal of free practice sessions 2 and 3 (two totally bizarre decisions).

    I find it amazing that, ten years on from Grand Prix 4, we still haven’t had a game which even *matched* its simulation elements. GP4 is so entertaining that I even enjoy watching races involving all AI cars. Would love to see that option in a new F1 game.

    • Faldrath says:

      Yeah, the pitstops and qualifying times were fixed in 2011, and are not an issue here as well.

      And yes, since Codemasters chose the FIFA route of yearly updates, there’s really very little incentive to make a long lasting game like the GP series used to be. That, and FIA restrictions regarding car damage and drivers changing teams, retiring, etc. really end up hurting career mode.

      • cHeal says:

        I’m fairly certain the qualifying times were still faked in 2011.

        • Faldrath says:

          Only if you used the “accelerate time” feature, which, granted, almost everyone does at some point (although not so often at Q3, which is what really matters). But when you’re on the track the times are real .

  6. Commander Gun says:

    Still have F2011 which i liked playing a bit, but then got pushed over by newer games i wanted to play. I used to play that one with a gamepad though. Can anyone advise a reasonable steering wheel? With ‘reasonable’ i mean it should be fairly cheap, but not so cheap the gas pedal/steering wheel breaks in a few sessions :)

    • MrCraigL says:

      The Driving Force GT is a safe bet (talked about it a bit in my Off To The Races piece a few months back link to rockpapershotgun.com )

      You can regularly pick them up for less than £100 now.

    • trjp says:

      I’m not up-to-speed on the latest models – but a decent steering wheel will cost you around/north of EU/£100 ($150) so it’s something you need to be serious about.

      I’ve used nothing which cost (much) less which didn’t have limitations and/or was likely to break pretty quickly if used ‘properly’ – and that’s a lot of money IMO

  7. DeanLearner says:

    I’ve noticed strange rev behaviour when performing a flashback and have even seen the car become much slower (as in a car that didn’t overtake me pre flashback with overtake me quickly afterwards).

    Also once I’ve had my car basically hit some sort of invisible wall/bump and fly off at a 45 degree angle when restarting via a flashback.

    Apart from that, I am really enjoying it and hope to get a steering wheel soon

    • Faldrath says:

      That’s the “engine blows up after a flashback” bug. It doesn’t really “blow up” in that it makes you retire, but the car loses power and you can usually see smoke coming from the engine. Only workaround so far is to disable car damage, unfortunately.

  8. Flukie says:

    Steamworks racing game, sold.

    Just want a racing game I can use my 360 pad with, launch it and play.

    GFWL has always raped Codemasters games of playability due to annoying updates, shitty menu layouts etc.

    The menu layout may remain consolised, but since I only play this stuff with pads I don’t mind.

    • Bungle says:

      It really seems that Codemasters’ quality has gone down over the years though. The last game I bought from them was Dirt 3, which was too much like Dirt 2 for me, and released way too soon after 2. And the yearly iteration thing is just a ripoff, especially when not very much gets changed from year to year.

  9. Phinor says:

    The amazing thing is, even with that many issues mentioned on the article, it still doesn’t quite cover all of them.

    For example some classics from previous iterations still exist: save game corruption/bug (even without GFWL!), invisible barriers that end your race, AI so incapable of passing you it’s hilarious. There are even some new featu.. bugs around such as when you reach lvl7, you can no longer find any players in the matchmaking.

    They mentioned that the removal of practice session 1 and 2 was due to testing. They needed the testing resources elsewhere. This is just a suggestion but with all the problems in the game, I’d say the problem isn’t necessarily in the amount of testing they do, but perhaps in the quality. Still doesn’t explain why they don’t even solve the bugs that carry from game to game and that might lead us to the actual problem: the game engine. There’s a reason why the ten year old GP4 is superior in almost every way to F1 2012.

    Tyre wear scaling was removed because apparently it was confusing to some people. Again, no option given to those who wanted to keep it in the game, just removed completely. Way to go.

    • jha4ceb says:

      The more I read about this, the more I despair. I’m a huge F1 fan and would love to throw my money at someone making a decent F1 sim. But my experience with F1 2010 was mostly of frustration rather than enjoyment, and judging by all these bug reports, if I were to buy F1 2012 I would be paying for the privilege to be frustrated all over again.

      • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

        The enduring legacy of Grand Prix Legends is that if you want people to buy it for God’s sake don’t make it too hard, and F1 is a big brand – they want people to buy it, although regardless of the licence ‘hardcore simmers’ aren’t a crowd Codemasters have ever tried to cater for (and they’re not obliged to, either).

        If you’re looking for a high fidelity F1 sim the best you’ll get presently are rF mods (there are a few but I’ve not spent much time with them so I wouldn’t want to offer an opinion on which is better), but more importantly rFactor 2’s just around the corner – the original was hobbled by FFB completely unrelated to the engine’s modelling of the suspension, but given how big a complaint that was rF2 should feature fully modelled feedback. If it does that, then it’ll be the best choice of platform for the modern F1 mods that’ll inevitably appear for it.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      And after an hour and a bit of hard racing on my first race of the season, I pit – my last stop – only for my team to put the tyres I had destroyed on during the previous stint. I had a perfectly new set available. This was a bug carried over from 2011, one of the ones they decided they weren’t going to sort out, because apparently there’s a workaround (select your tyres again in the pitlane – great, but if you forget, or your pit happens to be at the start, as you will have less than a second to get through three layers on the menu, you are screwed)

      I just pray for an unofficial game to be released of similar quality and accessibility but without the yearly iteration and some time spent on making a great product. Hell, I’d buy a yearly update pack to support a decent game.

    • Crane says:

      You do realise that just because testers find a bug doesn’t guarantee that the developers decide to fix it, right?
      I once worked on a game, bugged the fact that the goddamn moon was -green- (in a game set on Earth) and was told that wasn’t important enough to fix.
      I can assure you, most bugs in retail games are still in there because QA found them, but the developers decided it was too much effort to fix them.

  10. Zeewolf says:

    I’m fairly happy with it so far, but very few of the things I wanted improved have been improved and there’s also very few new features that are actually interesting.

    And reading this thread I realized why there’s “always” so much smoke bellowing out from my car. Gah. Off to turn damage off, then.

    But anyway, I’m not unhappy I bought it, like the review says it’s actually a blast to play. But if they want my money next year, they’ll have to give me some significant updates because I was definitely hoping for more than Codemasters delivered this time around.

  11. Jason Moyer says:

    “It might sound like a minor complaint”

    Not at all. Before I had a G25, I was using a non-FF Microsoft Sidewinder, and I absolutely could not do anything in sims made by anyone but Papyrus because they were the only people who nailed the subtle changes in tire scrub at the limit, which were impossible to feel without FF. Of course, now it doesn’t really matter because most racing games are so forgiving you just understeer past the limit and move on.

    • Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

      You’re the wrong crowd – this game isn’t aimed at people with FFB wheels, it’s designed to attempt (and I’m not going to say how well it managed it) to recreate a driving experience on gamepad, like the Gran Turismo series.

      I’ve played all three with a wheel and on full difficulty it remains impossible to unsettle the car under any circumstances – F1 2012 is not calculating the loading and associated behaviour of the steering and suspension components (as you can pretty easily see from the car’s behaviour in game), so anything you got through FFB would not be relevant to the game and how it determines what the car’s doing. I.e., it isn’t designed to be played with a wheel or give accurate feedback through one, because the physics engine isn’t complicated enough to work out feedback through the steering/suspension components – even if the game managed to produce FFB that convinced you that the car was understeering due to weight transfer to the outside of the car, it wouldn’t help you get the car around the corner because that’s not what the game thinks the car is doing and your reaction to it wouldn’t be meaningful.

      Plugging in a Logitech FFB wheel and complaining about the ‘accuracy’ of the physics in this regard in F1 2012 is like plugging in a Saitek X52 and complaining about improper stall modelling in HAWX. If you’ve got an X52 you’d play Il-2, DCS, FSX, etc – if you’ve got a wheel play GPL (with mods), the absolutely superb (and now 15 Euro) netKar, Live For Speed, iRacing, rFactor (well, wait for rF2), NR2003 mods. We’re not F1 2012’s target market.

      • Bonedwarf says:

        I have no problem unsettling the car. The default wheel options are hideous. Change it to just a generic wheel setting and the game is MUCH better.

        It’s the first non-sim that’s felt good on my wheel since Trackmania. (I have a DFGT).

  12. Simplisto says:

    I just got my copy through the post this morning (£18 disk compared to a £30 download on steam!) and haven’t played it yet, but I did give the demo a go last week.

    I never tried 2011 so I can’t comment on that, but it does seem much improved from F1 2010, especially in terms of load times, which were abysmal in the 2010 edition. I still find the penalty system quite annoying though – often feeling like the only driver on track to get any and sometimes even being punished for the faults of others. Although the AI seems better than 2010, it still isn’t fixed.

    As a big F1 fan so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, but to see this series follow the same method of making minor changes year-on-year (as with ‘Smackdown vs. Raw’ and Fifa etc.) is disappointing to say the least.

    I’ve never tried Grand Prix 4. I guess I’ll have to check it out now.

    • cHeal says:

      Definitely do. Grand Prix 3 is less hassle to install and get working right away but it lacks the same level of prettiness.

      Grand Prix 4 will run out of the box but there are a couple of little tweaks that can be made to make it perfect, and also a bug that its good to squash.

      Look up a guide for how to get it installed and working well. Still looks reasonably good even today, I still play it regularly because it has the best AI ever in a racing game IMO. Only two AI problems I’ve ever encournter in 15 odd years of playing the Grand Prix series. AI doesn’t like to undertake. So if you want to let someone through, stay on the racing line. And they are a little too cautious at the first corner, so you can make up a few handy position if you’re near enough the front.

      After that its all good. The AI is competitive and reliable. Suitably aggressive and smart. When over taking, or being over taken once you get used to them, you should be able adequately predict where they will be placing their car. Not bullsh*t of overtaking around the outside of hairpins and crap like I encountered in F1 2012. And there cars are fully physically represented on track. They have accidents and spins and mechanical failures. It is an even playing field. They even post their own qualifying times… It’s even possible de-select all drivers and watch the AI compete against each other, even including a director system that automatically moves between drivers.

      Physics are solid and advanced for their time but nothing too spectacular. Good enough that with such great AI, doing a full length race becomes an attractive and challenging prospect. Still the best modern F1 game ever made.

      Great wet weather too. Not as pretty as the codey games, but in terms of simulation it is leagues ahead with wet patterns producing varying degrees of wetness on a track and dry and drying lines all working as you would expect.

      Wish Geoff Crammond would do a kickstarter.

      • jha4ceb says:

        Ah, this post makes me want to reinstall GP4 and download all the latest 2012 car models… :-) Note also that you can use third party tools to tweak relative driver & car performance, meaning that you can correctly simulate the relative pace of all drivers in 2012 spec.

  13. mpk says:

    Tried the demo with a third-party 360 gamepad and found it completely unplayable. Couldn’t get round the first corner at Monza wihout some form of penalty – even with all driving aids turned on – and couldn’t get round the second Lesmo without hitting the gravel. Some of that is my own failure at gaming, but not all of it.

    The lack of options to change control sensitivity was quite annoying – I’m pretty sure they existed in Grid, which I played all the way through quite happily with a third-party 360 gamepad.

  14. Evil Betty says:

    Interesting observation about tyres. Race tyres rarely makes a squealing sound when reaching the limits of adhesion, but you have to have feedback when you can’t feel them letting go with your butt.

  15. Id10t3qu3 says:

    Let me say, this was a fantastic review. This is actually my first comment on a Rock Paper Shotgun article, so I suppose I’ll give myself a pat on the back for coming out of lurking.

    One thing I don’t think this review really stressed enough is the sheer quality of the presentation on the track itself. To be honest, I was not and, for the most part, still am not a F1 fan. I watched the documentary Senna on Netflix, and something about it made me try out the game. I grew up on Gran Tourismo 2 on PlayStation and have played the Forza and Gotham games in recent generations. I will say this: none of these other racing games has the sheer visceral feeling of speed that F12012 has. The difficulty was frustrating at first, but after about 6 hours of play, I’ve gotten used to the braking (always so early in these turns, such a hard thing to remember to do), how to properly accelerate out of a curve, and how to hit some shifty chicanes at 150+. The racing in this game, done from the cockpit view with the volume up, is the most satisfying racing presentation I’ve come across.

    Also, one extra great thing the game does that I think is worth mentioning. If you do a quick race, or before you arrive at a course in season or career mode, you’re able to watch a narrated video of a lap around the circuit you’re about to choose. These videos are incredibly useful and great fun to watch. Studying the videos allowed me to get better at one or two of the courses, but I know I will be going back for more of this fantastic racing for quite a while.